Friday, May 2, 2008

Guest post

Loyal reader Mike sent in this post about Dave Eiland and the Yankee pitchers...thanks Mike!

If young players are influenced by their coaches, this might explain the troubles of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy this season.

Last season these guys looked almost invincible. They aggressively attacked strike zone, throwing strikes.

Their pitching coach last year was Ron Guidry. Guidry was a successful pitcher with a hard slider. One of the keys to his success was that he aggressively attacked strike zone, throwing strikes.

This year Hughes and Kennedy look more reserved, more timid. Nibbling for corners, rarely going inside and walking too many.

Their pitching coach this season is Dave Eiland. Eiland was a failure as a major league pitcher. Eiland spent his career nibbling for corners, rarely going inside and walking too many.

All that timid pitching lead Eiland to a 12-27 record, with a 5.74 ERA, .303 BAA, .356 OBP and a .476 SLG.

Joe Girardi recently said that he expects his pitchers to "throw strikes." This leads me to believe that Joe and Dave are not on the same page.

Joe is looking for aggressiveness as Eiland is preaching a more reserved method.

Guys like Mike Mussina, Jimmy Key and Greg Maddux were very successful nibblers, living on the corners. They could also be aggressive and throw some heat.

Look at Mussina today, the fastball is slower and hitters are catching up to it. He's resorted to more nibbling, pitching more defensively than aggressively.

Mussina has taken Kennedy under his wing. Kennedy is looking more like the Mussina of 2007 and today, than how he should look, like the Mussina of 10 years ago. Couple that with the Eiland philosophy and you have trouble brewing.

The veteran pitchers need to step up and mentor these young men on attacking the zone, going after the hitter.

Notice that Joba Chamberlain does not have these issues being under the watch of Mariano Rivera, one of the most aggressive pitchers of our time.

Common belief is that Dave Eiland "developed" these kids in the minors. The Yankees sold that bill of goods as a reason for dumping Guidry and promoting Eiland. Is that really true? See for yourself.

Listed below is Eiland's assignments and which of the 3 he had at that stop:

2003 Pitching coach GCL Yankees: None

2004 Pitching coach Staten Island Yankees: None

2005-2006 Pitching coach Trenton Thunder: '06 Hughes, 21 games, 116 IP.

2007 Pitching coach Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees: Kennedy, 6 games, 34 IP. Hughes, 5 games, 28 IP. Chamberlain, 3 games 8 IP.

Listed below are "The Big 3" and their minor league trail:

Kennedy: 2006 Staten Island, 2007 Tampa, Trenton, Scranton.

Hughes: 2004 GCL Yanks, 2005 Charleston & Tampa, 2006 Tampa & Trenton, 2007 Tampa, Trenton & Scranton.

Chamberlain: 2006 U of Neb, 2007 Tampa, Trenton & Scranton.

They crossed paths a few times, but to say that Eiland "developed" them clearly is not true and not fair to the coaches who did.

Eiland has "coached" Kennedy, Hughes and Chamberlain for a combined total of 35 games and 186 innings.

Eiland has spent more time with Jeff Karstens than all 3 of them COMBINED.

The idea that "The Big 3" are products of Dave Eiland are pure fantasy.


Dan said...

I am sorry but this article is almost unbelievable.

You do have two points. Kennedy is nibbling too much and his not trusting his stuff, and the fact the Eiland gets to much credit for the ‘Generation Trey’.

Here is why the rest of this article is unbelievable.

1. You bring up the careers of Guidry vs. Eiland to make a point about their coaching styles. Just because in their Guidry threw more strikes in his career it does not mean that Eiland is teaching pitchers to nibble. How you pitch in your career has to do with the stuff God gave you. I think it is fair to say to Guidry had more ‘stuff’ then Eiland did and was able to pitch much better. So my point is, your career does not mean that is how you are teaching pitchers to pitch. Can I prove that Eiland is not telling Kennedy to pitch, no, But you can not draw a correlation that says he is.

2. You take that correlation and say that under Guidry Kennedy threw strikes last year and under Eiland this year he is not. Kennedy was not in Major League spring training last year and I think it is pretty safe to say he never really worked with Guidry. When he came to the majors last year he came and pitched every 5th day. I do not think you can say Guidry had anything to do with him throwing strikes. Kennedy was throwing strikes all year. So my point is, I do not think you can make correlation between Kennedy under Guidry or under Eiland either at this point.

3. Your point about Kennedy talking with Mussina (A nibbler at this point) and Chamberlin talking with Mo (A aggressive guy). You make a correlation between these relationships and the way they pitch. Of course those guys will talk to each other. Kennedys stuff is more like Mussinas and Chamberlins is more like Mo’s.

4. You forget to mention the fact that Chamberlin can be more aggressive like Mo since he has way better stuff. You can be way more aggressive when you throw 95-100 with a nasty slider then you can with 89-91 with a no plus secondary pitcher (though – pitches either). have to pitch to your strengths. You can not make the correlation that the Moose is in essence poising Kennedy. I will give that you they may influence them a little bit, but I ask the question… Do you want Kennedy to pitch like Chamberlin or Mo with the stuff that he has.

Well I guess I just wrote a guest post of my own…need a writer?

YankeeGM said...


Feel free to click on the link to the right and submit a post whenever the urge strikes you!.


YankeeGM said...

Dan - Write it up!


Search This Blog